Small Museum Association

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President & CEO -History San José

27 Feb 2019 10:44 AM | Victoria Gonzalez


History San José (HSJ) is seeking a dynamic, experienced and innovative President and Chief Executive Officer who will lead the organization while working collaboratively with a dedicated Board of Directors; highly motivated Staff; and diverse community Affiliates. The President and CEO will work to ensure HSJ meets its mission: to preserve and enrich the cultural heritage of San José and the Santa Clara Valley through research, collections, partnerships, educational programs and events.


HSJ’s activities began in 1949 following the centennial celebration of the California Gold Rush and statehood. Known initially as the Historical Museum of San José and managed by the City of San José, History San José incorporated with its current name as an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 1998. While the City of San Jose continues to own the properties and collections, the board of directors and staff establish goals and strategic direction and manage daily operations. All HSJ staff are employees of the non-profit organization.

Over the decades, History San José grew to include three sites: History Park — a 14-acre town-like assemblage of 32 original and reconstructed historic buildings with a running trolley, glass blowing studio, and ice cream parlor; the Peralta Adobe-Fallon House Historic Site — San José’s oldest address; and the Collection Center/Research Library & Archive — a research center that holds California’s largest regional collection of artifacts.  More than 140,000 visitors participate in activities and events at these sites year-round.


Events:History Park is home to 15 cultural Affiliate organizations who enrich and inform HSJ’s programming and make it relevant.  Together we create a destination for experiencing and celebrating the Valley’s cultural heritage by offering free and low-cost family events like the San José Printer’s Fair & Wazgooze, San José Mini Maker Faire; Children’s Heritage Holiday; El Dia de Portugal and Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration.

School Programs:We serve more than 20,000 elementary age students offering theme-based programs highlighting local history that are closely linked with Common Core State Standards and new College, Career and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies. Our field trips utilize object-based lessons and hands-on activities designed to teach students core competencies required for 21st century life, including empathizing, critical thinking, self-directed learning and collaborating. We also offer internship opportunities for college and graduate students.

Research and Collections:The permanent collection includes a library and archive, and more than a half million unique and important artifacts, such as the 1899 Osen & Hunt Automobile, the first car made in San José; Tuskegee Airman Samuel L. Washington’s 1944 gear; a 1976 Apple 1 Computer; and Brandi Chastain’s USWNT Jersey from the 1999 Women’s World Cup.  HSJ preserves this diverse material culture, actively engaging the community in original research to share with a worldwide audience; and providing access to the collection through social media, exhibitions and educational programs.


Born of a pioneer spirit, the City of San José holds a unique place in history as both California’s first civil settlement of European origin and the Capital of Silicon Valley.  From its beginning, San José has been home to waves of immigrants— from the Spanish who founded El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe in 1777, to American homesteaders cultivating the “Valley of Heart’s Delight,” to today’s engineers hailing from around the world contributing to “Silicon Valley.” 

San José boasts the largest concentration of technology expertise in the world and is the nation’s top patent producing city, home to companies such as Adobe, Cisco, eBay, IBM, and Xilinx. The third largest city in California and the tenth largest in the nation, San José has a strong visual and performing arts community. There is always a variety of family friendly offerings as well as numerous outdoor opportunities within Santa Clara Valley and beyond in nearby Santa Cruz, Napa Valley, Lake Tahoe, and Yosemite.  Diverse since its inception, with more than 100 different languages spoken, San José has no clear majority population. History San José is proud to celebrate this cultural heritage that continues to define San José and the Santa Clara Valley.


The President and CEO is the strategic and operational leader of HSJ with responsibility for ensuring that the organization continues to deliver on its mission and maintain its commitment to preserve and present San José and Santa Clara Valley’s heritage. In addition, he/she is the primary spokesperson, fundraiser and ambassador for the organization, articulating its value and contribution to state and local government, historians and educators, donors and partners, and the public.

The President and CEO reports to a Board of Directors and supervises a staff of 25 working in six departments: Collections & Exhibitions, Development & Marketing, Education, Events, Finance, and Operations & Facilities.


The President and CEO will:

  • Lead the operations of HSJ and its major functions of research and collections management, exhibitions, programs and events, fundraising and marketing, partnerships and visitor experience;
  • Oversee the finances of all HSJ operations to ensure the fiscal soundness of the organization including creating budgets and financial reports;
  • In collaboration with the Board of Directors and key Staff members, articulate and implement a vision for the organization’s future and translate that vision into strategic concepts, tactical directions and operating policies necessary to fulfill HSJ’s mission;
  • Ensure that the public use of HSJ and its resources continue to grow;
  • Play a lead role in increasing funding support for HSJ; serve as the primary interface with the City of San José; and develop strategies for cultivating and raising private funds;
  • Foster and maintain a close working relationship with historians, county and local historical organizations, community partners and other related institutions;
  • Work closely and transparently with the Board of Directors and its committees, providing updates, soliciting feedback and engaging members in constructive dialogue; and
  • Identify, recruit, develop, and retain a talented, accomplished and diverse Staff to meet the evolving needs of HSJ.
  • Supervise a staff of 25 employees.
  • Manage a budget of $1.6 million.


  • Successful experience leading a similar organization or agency; or senior management level leadership experience including: strategic planning, fundraising, personnel supervision, budget preparation and management, and program implementation.
  • Strong management skills, including an eye for talent and an ability to attract and retain a first-rate Staff.
  • Sufficient familiarity with Santa Clara Valley history to know what makes it distinctive with an ability to make it accessible to the public.
  • Ability to work with a strong Board, staff, donors, government officials, and the general public.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to lead and work as a member of a team, plus inspire an organizational culture that supports HSJ values and principles.
  • An appreciation and understanding of the disciplines of history, anthropology, ethnic studies,  archival, or museum management.
  • Experience to work in an educational organization or public agency, library, archives, museums or historic site, with progressive responsibility or related experience.
  • A strong commitment to present San José and Santa Clara Valley’s history that reflects the City’s diverse and innovative population.

Starting Date: June, 2019

This is a full time, salaried position with benefits. The final salary will be determined based on the experience and qualifications of the successful candidate.

Salary Range: $100,000 - $115,000

History San José is an Equal Opportunity Employer.



Review of candidate materials will begin immediately with a deadline of April 5, 2019. Please email your applications to

Applications must include a resume with contact information for a least three professional references and a letter of interest addressed to:

Dr. Brent D. Glass

Brent D. Glass LLC

1921 Sunderland Place NW

Washington, DC 20036

Hard copies of applications may be mailed to the above address. 

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